Playing with feeling : the influence of felt and perceived emotions on movement features in piano performances
DisciplineMusic, Mind and Technology (maisteriohjelma)Master's Degree Programme in Music, Mind and Technology
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This thesis studied the influence of - and combinations of - felt and perceived emotion on performer movement. Pianists played a piece with which they had an emotional connection in the following conditions: Technical (focusing on technical aspects), Expressive (expressing the music) and Emotional (feeling the emotion of the music). Thirty-six movement features (amount of movement, jerkiness of movement and postural features) were extracted from Motion Capture data and compared between different emotion types: 1) positive and negative felt emotion, 2) music-related and performance-related felt emotions, and 3) a combination of felt and perceived emotion (arousal and valence levels in the music). Positive emotions during a performance were related to expressive movement. Performance-related negative emotions (e.g. nervousness) were related to jerkiness of wrists whereas music-related negative emotions (e.g. feeling sadness of the music) were related to postural features. Expressive playing elicited the most expressive movement, whereas feeling emotion of the music elicited the most fluctuations of head tilt and the least jerkiness of technical movements. Interactions of perceived and felt emotions during performance seemed to also be reflected in movement. Although high arousal music elicited the most expressive movement in the Expressive condition, in the Technical and Emotional conditions, some expressive movements were significantly higher in the low arousal music compared to high arousal music. This difference in the Technical condition may be explained by the fact that expressive movement may facilitate the sound-production of the slow notes of low arousal music, but hinder execution of fast music typical in high arousal music. The difference in the Emotional condition may be a result of expressive movements reflecting a mixture of positive and negative felt emotion: the interaction of perceived emotion (e.g sadness of the music), aesthetic music-related emotion and positive performance-related emotions (e.g. enjoying the beauty of the music). Results also suggest that there are differences in jerkiness and postural features when expressing compared to feeling emotion when performing, especially in high arousal and high valence music as well as music of more nuanced mixed emotions (e.g. low arousal/high valence, nostalgia). ...
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